Sustainable Aviation

Intelligent design for environment-friendly aviation#

Aviation is an important component of a functioning global economy. Current studies predict that transport and passenger volumes in the aviation sector – and thus also the relevance of aviation for the ecological impact of the transportation industry – will grow strongly over the next few years. To bring about a long-term reduction in the ecological impact of aviation despite this expected growth, it is necessary to examine and optimize new developments and existing processes in terms of their ecological footprint.

Sustainability analysis in the aviation sector is one of the key research topics of the Life Cycle Engineering Department. Points of emphasis include the Life Cycle Assessment of materials and production processes specific to the aviation sector, of lightweight and high-tech materials, and of components, systems, and alternative fuels. The results of these Life Cycle Assessments can yield specific measures and strategies for ecologically appropriate design. The eco DESIGN approach ensures that this information is incorporated into the development process at an early stage and that ecologically unfavorable solutions are avoided. Further projects deal with the implementation of a Life Cycle Assessment data platform (virtual marketplace) for the aviation sector.

eco DESIGN for sustainable aircraft concepts

The Eco-Design approach is essentially based on knowledge of the environmental impact of today’s aircraft and a method for estimating the environmental impact of future aircraft in the light of relevant design modifications. Fraunhofer IBP provides a life cycle analysis of various aircraft types and configurations.

Lightweight construction in aviation

The potential ecological added value of different lightweight variations of material, process, and technology methods must be quantitatively assessed. On the basis of its extensive experience, Fraunhofer IBP provides support in the ecological, resource-efficient choice of appropriate methods and materials.

Aviation database

The value-added chain in the aviation industry is complex. To be in a position to holistically assess the environmental impact of the materials, processes, and technologies used, Fraunhofer IBP has collated special datasets for the field of aviation in a database.

Alternative fuels

Alternative fuels provide considerable potential for reducing environmental impact in air transportation. Fraunhofer IBP investigates fuels and their production as an important factor on the way to sustainable air transportation.

Strategic aviation alliances